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Japan to seek Fukushima decommissioning ideas overseas

26 Comments

Japan is to solicit proposals from both domestic and overseas nuclear experts and firms for how best to decommission Fukushima's ruined reactors, officials said Thursday.

The International Research Institute for Nuclear Decommissioning will publicly seek ideas as early as this month, an institute official said.

While it is not presently putting the entire decommissioning process out to tender, the body's move will be welcomed by the international community, which has long called for Japan to make better use of available expertise around the globe.

The institute, formed by nuclear-related firms and government-backed bodies in August to dismantle the broken reactors, will screen decommissioning proposals and take the results to the government, the official said.

"We will set up a website in both Japanese and English to notify interested parties at home and abroad of our calls for decommissioning ideas so that we can offer more useful and practical proposals to the government," the official said.

The central government has played an increasingly active role in the clean-up at Fukushima, where the March 2011 tsunami disabled cooling systems, sending reactors into meltdown.

Plant operator Tokyo Electric Power Co (TEPCO), which was effectively nationalised by a huge government cash injection to stop its bankruptcy, has come in for growing criticism over its handling of the aftermath of the disaster.

Frequent mishaps, including leaks of radiation-contaminated water and a power outage caused by a rat have not helped its standing in the eyes of the global public.

TEPCO's own estimates suggest the full decommissioning of the site could take up to four decades and that much of the trickier work is yet to be done -- notably the removal of reactor cores that have probably melted beyond recognition.

According to the utility's own plan, these reactor cores -- which are feared to have seeped into the containment vessels and possibly even eaten through thick concrete -- will be removed around summer 2020.

Although TEPCO says the reactors are now under control, critics say the plant remains in a precarious state and at the mercy of extreme weather or further earthquakes. They point out that there is still no plan for the thousands of tons of water being stored on site.

© (C) 2013 AFP

©2019 GPlusMedia Inc.

26 Comments
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After more than two years and one mistake after the other now they want outside (means foreign) help. It looks very much like they are looking for someone to blame for. Now after the worst damage is done by Tepco, they need a scapegoat and why not use those "gaijins" for this part.

10 ( +14 / -4 )

US offered help right after the 3/11 and it was rejected by Kan on 3/16.. Why now? Sounds like Japan is now looking for a scapegoat for their own failures? Next?

11 ( +12 / -1 )

Finally!!

3 ( +3 / -0 )

but it's under control right?

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Sound like: 'we are totally cluless and would like to steal your ideas'.

5 ( +8 / -3 )

Because TEPCO knows what's going on!

/s

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Call us, we won't call you!

3 ( +3 / -0 )

"We will set up a website in both Japanese and English to notify interested parties at home and abroad of our calls for decommissioning ideas so that we can offer more useful and practical proposals to the government,"

France has plenty of nuclear expertise - and although the French do understand English, I could always translate their website into French (I badly need an extra job...)

3 ( +3 / -0 )

this is about 2 1/2 years too late. why not seek all the help you can get immediately? tepco and japanese officials were just arrogant fools.

9 ( +9 / -0 )

So the government just admitted they don't know what they are doing and have been doing nothing effective for the last 2.5 years!

9 ( +9 / -0 )

oh boy!!! after 2.5 years these guys still needs idea!!

5 ( +5 / -0 )

"We have it under control, but can you tell us what to do?" The only control they have over this debacle is media control!

2 ( +4 / -2 )

You can call in all available expertise or you can just lock the gates and go home. The outcome will be exactly the same.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

about 1 year too late. more like... 18 months too late.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

TEPCO’s own estimates suggest the full decommissioning of the site could take up to four decades and that much of the trickier work is yet to be done—notably the removal of reactor cores that have probably melted beyond recognition. According to the utility’s own plan, these reactor cores—which are feared to have seeped into the containment vessels and possibly even eaten through thick concrete—will be removed around summer 2020.

Wait a minute, isn't there something else going on in Tokyo in the summer of 2020?.............Oh yeah, the Olympics!

2 ( +3 / -1 )

2.5 years too late. I guess they just want to blame it on foreigners when it finally does blow??

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

techall - Wait a minute, isn't there something else going on in Tokyo in the summer of 2020?.............Oh yeah, the Olympics!

That is providing there are no mistakes when they start removing fuel rods. One mistake could result in the rod/s going critical and if this happens, there will be no Tokyo Olympics cos there will be no Tokyo!

0 ( +1 / -1 )

techallOct. 18, 2013 - 12:45PM JST

TEPCO’s own estimates suggest the full decommissioning of the site could take up to four decades and that much of the trickier work is yet to be done—notably the removal of reactor cores that have probably melted beyond recognition. According to the utility’s own plan, these reactor cores—which are feared to have seeped into the containment vessels and possibly even eaten through thick concrete—will be removed around summer 2020.

Wait a minute, isn't there something else going on in Tokyo in the summer of 2020?.............Oh yeah, the Olympics!

Do not worry, everything is under control per Abe.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

"We will set up a website in both Japanese and English to notify interested parties at home and abroad of our calls for decommissioning ideas."

That'll be fun. One look at the multiple frames, Flash and Shift JIS encoding will have them running for the hills.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Fukuppy could fix this, or is this more of Fukuppys work?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Three or more scenes overlapping the place.

Abe announces it is safe, as we all know. Fukushima Daiichi has multiple leaks into the sea. TEPCO, fast reaching the end of their tether, seeks international ideas and help. Irate and menacing fishermen forcibly encroach back into their old fishing grounds, as if by moral right, willing even to undermine out-of-depth regulatory authorities.

We need a strong hand here.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

It might be best not to tell them what to do right, cause if they do, it will surely be dismissed as "not the way we Japanese do things".

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Well, if the latest "outside help" who recommended more water to be released in the ocean (to which I do not object), I predict we'll see more fear mongerors out in full force.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

Japan better start figuring out where they will build more waste water storage facilities. Seems to me that if it is going to take four decades or more to decommission these plant then Japan must either store one heck of allot of nuclear waste water or continue to dump it into the pacific...There is,as of now, no technique devised to decontaminate this waste water to a level that is safe. Praying every day that there is not a powerful quake,tsunami,or both, is sure not a good policy. The world needs to get on this problem and figure out a better way or this disaster will continue to get worse every year until,finally, a catastrophic failure occurs.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Well, we bought time by replacing the existing Nuclear regulator with a new one. We let TEPCO keep trying. And now that we have the Olympics, we can finally ask for help since we knew TEPCO doesn't have a clue or any other utility. The workers were never training to know that the steam from the reactor building when releasing steam should sound like a roaring jet engine of steam and not a fate whimper of smoke that indicates that there is no water getting to the reactor! After all, the J-Gov regulators had no clue and ignored world experiences.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

2 & 1/2 years should be a good enough time to let the expert studied for this kind of projects. Hope sp,e professors represent their research result or Japan has to wait more?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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